Monday 31 December 2012

Happy New Year

As the year closes and a new one beckons it is often a time for reflection. Of times past and the ones ahead. More thoughts of this on Wednesday with IWSG but for now I wanted to wish each and every one of you a happy and peaceful new year. May it bring all you are hoping for, for yourselves and your loved ones.

In 9 months of blogging it has been a privilege to get to know so many of you. Thank you for making me welcome in this blogging community. I look forward to continued friendships, old and new in 2013.

Happy New Year!

Thursday 20 December 2012

Build Me a Blog-Hop!

Welcome to Build Me A Blog - Hop!
David Powers King is hosting this fab blog hop to celebrate reaching 800 followers. There are some awesome prizes up for grabs! Thanks David.
Here's the details folks - in David's own words
- On December 20th, by 8 AM MST, include in your post a 200 word description of your dream blog/site/banner/avatar/etc. What would it look like? I'll read all the entries and select three winners who wowed me so much that I want to see their description come to life!

Winners will be announced December 21st, and the prizes are:

3rd place: a banner/icon/avatar designed by Tara Tyler.
2nd place: a banner/icon/avatar designed by Darren Hansen.
1st place: a blog background designed by Lisa Campbell ($50 value).
The best Runner Up will receive a rare box of Hostess cupcakes!


Re-vamping my blog has been on my mind of late. Trouble is I have little idea how to go about it and I don't have the time to spend hours on it. So this hop has given me the ideal chance to think through my ideas and get a clearer picture of what I would like people to see when they click on my site!

I would like my blog to reflect my stories and my personality.  I write predominately for children and YA and my genre of choice is fantasy. Although I don't want it to look too child like or cartoony. I LOVE unicorns so they would feature in my perfect blog.  My talented daughter has recently started to design a unicorn logo for my header so it would be great to incorporate that too. As for backgrounds anyone who knows me already would guess it would feature purple. Possibly tones/shades of a sky over a lake. I quite like using my photo on my home page but an avatar would be fun to use at times. I'm not really a gadget person, I prefer simple and not too cluttered. However, I quite fancy a way to chart progress on my WIP.

I hope my random ramblings make some sort of sense. My brain is pretty full of other stuff at the moment!

Once again seasons greetings to you all. Catch you in the New Year.

Monday 17 December 2012

It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas!

What a busy week!

We've put up the Christmas decorations...

I went to a wreath making evening and produced this...

I went to the works Christmas Party. Sorry no photos of that one!

I've been to a Christmas Ball. Long dresses, lots of sparkle and dancing. A great night.

And this week? Well ...

There will be children's parties and Christmas lunches.

A trip to the movies to see Nativity 2 with all the family.

Visitors arriving.

Probably several trips to the supermarket!

Oh yes and another Christmas Party!

Apart from a scheduled post on Thursday for  David Powers King's Build Me a Blog - Hop, this will probably be my last opportunity to post till after the holidays so I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope the New Year brings all you are hoping for.

Merry Christmas

Monday 10 December 2012

Long Live the Ninja!

Today is the day when the blogging world goes mad for the one and only Alex J. Cavanaugh

So, here’s four questions:
In +/- 20 words, what does Alex look like?
In +/- 20 words, who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or dead.)
In +/- 20 words, who does Alex remind you of?
In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:


For Bonus Points:
In +/- 40 words, leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh - thanking her for sharing J

Join the Linky List
Be a follower.
Post your 200 (total) word contribution Monday, Dec. 10.  
What does Alex look like?
Dark hair that partially conceals his equally dark eyes. Adding to his air of mystery!

Who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or Dead)
I think living would be best, they would give the part more substance! Hey, what about Alex playing Alex?

Who does Alex remind you of?
An all year round Father Christmas, delivering loads of lovely comments into our in boxes. Mostly, unseen, I've  never seen him do it have you? He's lightning quick too, maybe he has a team of ninja elves to help him.

Write a piece of flash fiction using these words: Cavanaugh, Ninja, IWSG, Cosbolt, Guitar.

The Day Alex Saved Christmas

The ipad screen misted, erasing the mega list of blogs from Alex's Google Reader.  It was Christmas Eve, how was he going to comment on all these blogs before nightfall?!
     "Mr. CavanaughNinja Captain and Leader of the infamous IWSG?" Alex jumped as a voice boomed from the tablet. "We need your help."
     "What do you want me to do?" Alex's gulped.
     "It's delicate."
     "Go on." The strained cords of a guitar  set Alex's teeth on edge.
     "It's Cosbolt. He's scaring the reindeer. Please help or Christmas will be ruined!"
     "Put him on," Alex liked all things science fiction but this was mind blowing.
      The elf grinned sheepishly.
     "You wanna learn the guitar?" Alex asked.
     "Can you help me? Santa's stressed and Rudolph's refused to work because he has a headache?"
     Alex grabbed his guitar. Looks like blogging will have to wait Alex thought. After all, saving Christmas is way more important!

For bonus points leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh, thanking her for sharing.
Thanks so much for allowing Alex to come play in the blogosphere with us wacky writers.

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Will my bus ever come?

I have been following the Insecure Writers Support Group posts for months and I finally got around to joining.  Big thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting this wonderful idea. Posts are the first Wednesday of the month and are a great way to offer support and encouragement to fellow writers or to receive a little yourself!

I sometimes think I've been waiting at the bus stop too long!

On the outside it usually appears as a patient, the bus is only just around the corner, I can wait abit longer, attitude. Yet  inside I'm tense and knotted, drumming my feet on the pavement, anxious to be on the bus and on my way.

I've been known to leap to my feet, so sure my bus was finally here. A competition win,  requests for full manuscripts, a telephone call with a brilliant agent, even an offer of representation! (Squeels). But sadly I still haven't quite made it onto the bus, the publishing deal still eludes me.

I know I have travelled a long way already, but I'm nowhere near ready for the journey to end. I've got my ticket stamped, I guess I just have to wait at the bus stop awhile longer. It's just sometimes it gets a little cold and lonely all this hanging about. What am I supposed to do while I'm waiting? Tweek and fiddle some more with projects I've already put my heart and soul into or start something brand new and seek a new distraction to keep me company while I wait?

How do you cope with the inevitable waiting that being a writer entails?

Monday 3 December 2012

December Birthstones

Happy December everyone and welcome to the countdown to the festivities!
As most of you probably know if you have been following for a while I have written a children’s series set around birthstones and their symbolism. Each month I like to tell you a bit about the particular birthstone I feature in my story and post a short extract. Eleven of the twelve stories feature the listed ‘traditional’ birthstone for that month but December is the month I veer off slightly! Well it is Christmas I’m allowed to be a little different aren’t I? For December I focus on one of the ‘modern’ gems, the Tanzanite.

Why did I do this? Well a couple of reasons really. Firstly, I Love, Love, Love the Tanzanite and its bluey/purpley colour. It is so pretty and so me! (Sadly it isn’t my birthstone). Secondly, I thought Tanzanite made an excellent name for a Birthstone Unicorn. In the story I sometimes shorten it to Tanzy and it fits the story perfectly. Check out this link to meet her or click the tab above
As its name might suggest, Tanzanite was first found in Tanzania in 1967. It is relatively new to the official birthstone list having only found its way on in 2002 where it joined the traditional gem Turquoise and other more modern additions, the Blue Zircon and Blue Topaz. But I personally feel it is a wonderful addition and its colour unique.

As Tanzanite is such a new addition there are few myths or legends surrounding it so I have used some of the associations with the traditional turquoise to weave into the story. More details in the side bar on these.

Finally, here is the verse from the traditional Gregorian Birthstone Poem, enjoy!

If cold December gave you birth
The month of snow and ice and mirth
Place on your hand a turquoise blue
Success will bless whate'er you do.

 Do you have a favourite gemstone? Is it your birthstone, traditional or modern?




Sunday 2 December 2012

Blindsided Blog Tour

Hi everyone. Here is my entry for the Blindsided Blog Tour run by the ever lovely, Kyra Lennon.

For this fun blogfest we were asked to post a photo of ourselves dressed in something Christmassy.

So here goes, don't laugh!

And just because they are far too cute a couple of pics of my cats in festive style!


Good luck with the book tour, Kyra x



Monday 26 November 2012

I'm turning into a dalek!

Happy Monday morning everyone!

Really short post to apologise for my absence around the blogsphere for a few days. I have been hit by some sort of throat infection/laryngitis. Every time I have tried to speak over the weekend the family have dissolved in fits of laughter as I sound like a dalek! Must be bad because I haven't even gone into work today and that is very unusual for me as I hate having time off. But I figure if my nearest and dearest are dissolving in fits when I try to talk trying to talk to a bunch of  school children is probably not the best idea! So staying inside in the warm and dry.

Our town had some floods over the weekend but we are OK at the moment but everywhere is so wet and it is still raining! Hope any fellow bloggers in the UK are safe and well.  I did notice that Ellie has posted about the flooding near her.  Hope things are looking better today, Ellie.

Take care and hopefully normal service resumed real soon.

Friday 16 November 2012

Oh, How I Miss You Blogest!

Today is the 'I Miss You Blogfest'! Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, Matthew MacNish and Andrew Leon.

An opportunity to spotlight a couple of our blogging buddies or say 'I miss you' to any bloggers who haven't posted recently or who have been absent from the blogging world.

Truth is I would miss so many of my lovely buddies that it is really hard to single out just a couple! Just knowing that someone has taken the time and trouble to check into my blog and leave a few words amazes me on a daily basis. And, Alex you really are a commenting Ninja - I don't know how you do it but thank you!

I haven't been around the blogosphere all that long myself so I haven't really lost touch with anyone so I am stretching the rules slightly here by mentioning DL over at Cruising Altitude.   I was introduced to DL through the epic competition known as WRiTE CLUB but I am looking forward to seeing DL's regular posts when this finishes.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

P.S. Sorry if I am a bit late posting this. I prepared ahead of time and 'thought' I had scheduled to go up this morning. Just got home from work and realised it was still sitting in my drafts!! Oops must stop multi tasking!

Monday 12 November 2012

Giveaway Winners

Hello everyone, a short post tonight to announce the winners of my recent  giveaway to celebrate my 100 plus followers and the I'm Thankful for my Readers Bloghop! A massive thanks to all who took part and left such lovely comments I am truly thankful for you all and wish I could give you all a gift.
But until I win the lottery I will have to settle for just two lucky winners this time!

My daugher has randomly selected the winners so... drum roll please....

Winner of 'The Long Weekend' is...

                                        Louise at Make Dough and Mend

Winner of 'The Mermaid of Zennor' is...

                                        Kyra Lennon at Write Here, Write Now

Congratulations to you both!

Friday 9 November 2012

More Awards and Giveaways!

The lovely Heather at Random Interruptions recently nominated me for The Top Commentor Award! Thanks for thinking about me Heather. Now I try to be a good blogger - writing posts, joining hops  and commenting on as many of my fellow bloggers posts as I possibly can,but sometimes I simply run out of time to get round! I know most of you will know this feeling well and understand but please accept my apologies if I haven't visited your blog recently. I hope when you visit my blog you find something to interest or amuse you and I love reading your comments.

I am supposed to pass this award onto a few other bloggers. These are a just a small handful of the MANY blogs I enjoy reading and who I would like to give a mention. This isn't a blog that involves you in too much work but If you don't want to participate in this tag I won't be offended, I still love your blogs!

Sherry Ellis at Mama Diaries - The stories about her kids always make me smile.

Kyra Lennon at Write Here, Write Now - Kyra's posts are fun and interesting and she always has something going on! A busy girl  and very supportive of others.

The cosmic David Powers King - David's posts are fun and varied, always worth a read.

EL Adams at From the Writer's Nest - Her first ebook Puppet Spell will be published anyday now!

I noticed this link around the blogosphere this week and thought I would mention in case you haven't seen it. It is a fantastic opportunity from Beth Revis to win 50 yes FIFTY YA books! Only open to US mailing address due to postage so sadly I can't enter but it seems like a very generous giveaway. Check it out if you're interested. 


Finally, there is still time to enter my I'm Thankful for my Readers giveaway. I will be randomly drawing the winners on Monday 12th November.

Have a fun weekend everyone :)

Monday 5 November 2012

GIVEAWAY!! AND I'm Thankful for my Readers Blophop!

Hello everyone,  hope you had a  great weekend.  Recently I passed the *100 follower mark* and I wanted to celebrate the occasion with a giveaway!

As I am also taking part in the bloghop,* I'm Thankful for my Readers* hosted by Vikki and Tara today seemed like the perfect day to start it.  Such a cool badge girls I love it!

I have been blogging since March this year. My first post was on Mother's Day as it happens! At the time I had no real idea what I was doing or how likely it was that anyone would ever read my humble blog. Yes, it took a little time finding my feet but it didn't take me long to connect with some wonderful people. Starting this blog was one of the best things I've done since I began my writing journey. Writing as we all know can be a lonely, teeth clenching, hair pulling experience but knowing there are others out there in the same position as me, willing to offer support and share their own experiences has helped enormously. I have learnt SO MUCH from you all and feel more confident moving towards my dreams. I value each and ever one of you whether a regular commentator or occasional visitor you are welcome.

So a massive THANK YOU to all my lovely readers I hope you continue to travel with me on my writing journey.

Here's an acrostic poem for all my blogger buddies out there!

My blogger buddies rock because they;
Brighten my day
Lighten the load
Offer advice
Give me their time
Guide me along this bumpy road
Emuse and educate me
Reassure me
Support me
Respect each others talents
Offer constructive criticism
Comment and chat on my posts

I have two very different books on offer for this giveaway, but they both have a Cornish theme. As many of you know I live near the sea in a lovely corner of South West England so I wanted to share a piece of this with you.

First up - The Mermaid of Zennor. As I mainly write for children I wanted to include a children's book. This one is a really beautiful picture book that I shared many times with my own children. It is one of those 'to keep' books. From the blurb; From a landscape rich with myth and magic comes this traditional folk tale, retold by master poet Charles Causley and illustrated with warmth and wonder by award- winning artist Michael Foreman. (published by

Secondly - The Long Weekend written by Vernonica Henry . One for the adults. I must confess I haven't read this one yet myself (on the TBR pile) but I have read another story by Veronica Henry, The Beach Hut, which I enjoyed. From the blurb; In a gorgeous quayside hotel in Cornwall, the long weekend is just begining... Here are affairs of the heart, secrets, lies and scandal - all wrapped up in one long weekend. (published by Orion Books).

This giveaway is open to all my lovely readers, new followers welcome to join in too,  so just go ahead and leave a comment and your preferred choice of prize to enter. No gadgets or rules to tweet, facebook or whatever (obviously if you want to that's fine!) I just want to say thanks for being there.  The giveaway will run for 7 days ending 5pm (UK time) on 12th November. After that time I will draw two lucky winners from all the comments received. If you want to be entered into both draws please say in your comment.

Thanks to Vikki and Tara for hosting this wonderful opportunity to say;


Wednesday 31 October 2012

Birthstone Unicorns Series - Topaz

Happy Halloween 
Well it's the start of a new month tomorrow and time to update you on November's gorgeous birthstone, the topaz. Check out the side bar for some information on this fiery jewel! Perfect for the next big celebration - Bonfire Night!  Here is the verse from the traditional Gregorian Poem.
"Who first comes to this world below
In dreary November's fog and snow
Should prize the topaz amber hue
Emblem of friends and lovers true."
I have also added an extract from my Birthstone Unicorns Series for this month. Click the tab above or HERE to read it.
The lovely chrysanthemum is the flower of the month. Perfect for adding a wonderful splash of colour at this time of year. Happy Birthday to all of you celebrating this month.
 P.S I am planning a small giveaway as a thank you to my followers. I have recently passed that magical 100! I am hoping to have it ready to post details on Sunday.

Thursday 25 October 2012

I've been given a Reader Appreciation Award!

The girls over at The Feather and the Rose have awarded me this lovely Reader Appreciation Award.  Doesn't it look bright and cheerful? A little reminder of warmer days! Thanks for thinking about me, glad you enjoy my blog!
The rules for this award are as follows:

1. Identify and show appreciation to the blogger who nominated you.

2. Add the reward logo to your blog.

3. Tell your readers 7 things about yourself.

4. Nominate some other bloggers.

5. Inform your nominees that you nominated them.
So here we go, thanks again  Tyler-Rose and Susan Francino
It's always tricky to keep coming up with new and interesting things to say for these things, but here's my latest attempt to provide a little amusement!

1) My chocolate of choice is Malteasers. Dangerous having a box to hand when writing though as they seem to magically disappear!! Honestly they really vanish, I can't find them anywhere, not even a sniff!

2) A confession - I like vacuuming! I know, I know I'm weird! I find it strangely relaxing and satisfying to see all the dust whizzing around in the cylinder.

3) What I should be doing now is cleaning the oven. Yuck! HATE that job!

4) Favourite comfort food - beans on toast with cheese sprinkled on top. Darn it, I really want to eat some now!

5) I went for a great walk in the woods yesterday. It was a very inspirational place and I got loads of interesting words and sentences floating into my head. I'll have to revisit soon with a notebook.

6) I'm going to zumba class this evening. It's a great workout!

7) This weekend I'm going to a ball! Yep, just like Cinderella in a coach made out of a pumpkin and white mice to drive and crystal slippers and... OK you got me, not quite like the lovely Cinderella but I am going with my 'prince' and I do get to wear a long dress and sparkly shoes!
I'm going to nominate the following blogs:
Ink in the Book - the lady with the most amazing blog backgrounds! You always have something new and interesting to say and your support is appreciated. Keep up the good work, I don't know how you find the time to do so much :)
Livia at Leave it to Livia - Livia has made a big impact in the writing community and is always ready to offer a word of support. Thanks Livia!
Heather at Random Interruptions - Heather was one of the first bloggers I met in this great community and from the start she has been so supportive.  Massive thanks, Heather.

Monday 22 October 2012

"Letting Go" Kyra Lennon's Blog Hop!

Today I'm participating in the lovely Kyra Lennon's blog hop. The hop is to support the release of her novella, "If I let you go." The theme of the day is post something based on 'letting go.' It can be fact or fiction and about pretty much anything as long as it reflects the theme. My contribution is below. Fact or fiction? Let's just say a little bit of both.

It doesn't feel right. I glance around expecting to see a pile of papers toppling precariously over the edge of the coffee table. A tangle of electrical cables littering the sofa. Arragh, how that annoys me! I mean, how can one person use so many and for what? There's rarely any sign of the ipod, phone, laptop or camera that they actually belong to. If I told you once I've told you a thousand times, "Put them away!"

But today...

Today I look around the living room and it seems empty. Everything is in it's place, neat and tidy as I like it, and yet something is missing. You.

You're all grown up and gone to university. Just as you should. As you deserve. That doesn't make the house feel any less empty or my heart any less heavy. Yesterday you left with a smile, a hug, a fond farewell. I plastered a smile on my face and choked back the tears with a joke. But you felt it too, I know you did. Sadness, fear, excitement the beginning of a whole new chapter in life.

It's time to let go of the familiar and embrace the new. For all of us life will be different from this day on.

It isn't always easy but it's necessary. Change is part of life and nothing stays the same forever. There will be exciting times ahead and new challenges. I let you go freely, with joy and love knowing that it is this that will keep you coming back.


Good luck with the blog hop and your new release, Kyra :)

Friday 19 October 2012


Hi guys, just a short post to highlight a couple of authors and their giveaways that you may not yet have heard of.

Molly Elizabeth Lee Molly is highlighting Jessica Shirvington and her YA series EMBRACE.

Sara Tribble at I am Write Sara is promoting the release of her book 'Beyond The Cell'.

Alexandra Lanc at Words of the Worlds is doing a giveaway to promote her book birthday.

Have a great weekend everyone :)

Sunday 14 October 2012

Liebster Award


I am honoured that ELAdams at From the Writer's Nest has passed this award on to me recently. I haven't done this one before so thought I would give it a go as it looks like fun. Thank you for thinking of me EL.

Here are the Liebster Blog Award rules:

1. Answer the blogger's eleven questions
2. Think of eleven questions of your own
3. Choose eleven worthy bloggers (who have fewer than 200 followers) to interview and pay it forward. I'll follow the trend and nominate less than eleven as I really don't know who has already done this one and has less than 200 followers! If I have missed you off the list and you would like to participate please consider yourself awarded also. If I have nominated you and you have already done this or don't want to pick it up for any reason, apologies.

Anyway, here are my answers to EL's questions;

1) How long have you been writing?
Forever! As a child I remember making up stories as I lay in bed, thinking 'one day I will write a book.' I also used to write poems. Fiction writing took a back seat during my twenties and thirties. I was too busy with setting up home and raising children then I started retraining in early years education and most of my writing was connected to that. I began 'seriously' writing something I hoped might be read as a story about 4 years ago.

2) What genre do you write in?
After some experiementing I seem to be finding my writing home in children's fantasy. I have written adult short stories and enjoy entering them in competitions. I was short listed for Yeovil Prize this year!

3) What would be your ideal day trip?
Ok, day trip suggests close to home so I'd say a walk along the coastal footpath with my family stopping off for a long lunch in a cosy pub. Close second would be some retail therapy!

4) Name one great book you've read?
Just one, there are so many but I'll say 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' by C.S. Lewis.

5) Which author do you find the most inspiring?
There is so much inspiration out there so difficult to chose just one but I'd probably go for C.S. Lewis as re reading the Narnia Chronicles a few years ago really kick -started me into writing fantasy.

6) Favourite film based on a book?
I often find I enjoy the books better as I get more of a connection but I did quite enjoy 'Hunger Games' recently. This is one where I think having read the book helped me enjoy the movie because I could fill in the gaps.

7) Favourite music to listen to while writing?
I never listen to music while writing I prefer peace and quiet.

8) If you could pick one country to visit, where would it be?
Yikes just one! There are so many places I would love to see but because it is on my bucket list I'll say Niagra Falls. I know that's not a country but it's in a country and I could visit either side.

9) Favourite hobby apart from writing?
Dancing. Ballroom and latin.

10) Favourite time of year?
All seasons have special times but I love the sun so, Summer. I know we don't get that much sun in the UK!!

11) Book you're most looking forward to reading this year?
I'm just finishing up 'Insurgent' by Veronica Roth at the moment and next on my TBR list is, 'Mist' by Kathryn James. I intend to read J.K. Rowling's new book too. The problem is I'm always seeing new things or reading reviews and thinking I must read that. Too many books, too little time!

My eleven questions are;

1) How long have you been blogging?
2) What's the best piece of writerly advice you've ever heard or been given?
3) What's the one thing you can't do without when sitting down to write?
4) Cats or dogs?
5) What is your favourite room in the house?
6) What are you reading at the moment?
7) Where would you like to visit and why?
8) What superpower would you choose?
9) Tell us about your favourite author and/or book?
10)Can you share a favourite quote?
11) Freestyle! Pick your own question you would like to answer.

Have fun and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Maria at First Draft Cafe
Heather at Random Interruptions
VikLit at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author
Alexandra at Words of the Worlds
Buffy Armstrong at Pixies don't have wings